The five year wait for a 25th Northern Counties Alsop Trophy title came to an end last weekend as the Durham County B team defeated Lancashire in the final group game to take the title. Despite a slow start Durham improved as the weather improved and they eventually ran out comfortable 135-82 winners collecting twenty points in the process, although only needing two winning rinks across the green Durham actually won on five of the six rinks with the pick of them being Tony Greathead (Hartlepool), Nick Willey (Stockton), Richie Mckie (Roker Marine) and Steve Bennett (Houghton Dairy Lane) who ran out 34-11 winners over Bill Page, Bennett’s Dairy Lane club-mates Alan J Dunn  & Jimmy McAdoo both steered their respective rinks to wins. Barnes Park’s Albie Hill beat Dave Murphy 21-12 while team manager Hartlepool’s Dale Oram eased to a 28-9 win over Dave Rodgers, the only loss saw Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson go down 22-10.

Scores – D.Oram 28-9 D.Rodgers, R.Robinson 10-22 S.Goulding, AJ.Dunn 23-14 P.Laundon, A.Hill 21-12 D.Murphy, J.McAdoo 19-14 S.Hemsley, S.Bennett 34-11 W.Page

Final Table – Durham 69, Cumbria 52, Northumberland 44, Yorkshire 33, Lancashire 22

This season’s County finals take place at Silksworth tomorrow, locally there is interest in six of the seven finals. The day kicks off at 10am with the Pairs final when the host clubs Gary Farquhar and David Bolt take on RA’s Barry Hopkins and Andrew Kirtland, at 11am Houghton Dairy Lanes Ken Briscoe will be looking to lift the George Turley Champion of Champions title as he takes on Leadgate’s David Warnaby. The remaining five finals start at 2pm, the area is guaranteed a win in the triples as Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt take on Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow in an all Silksworth final. Roker Marine’s Pat Thomson looks for a first county title as he takes on Stockton’s Mark Hodgson in the Two Bowl Singles final. The final local hope is in the Junior Singles as Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna looks to go one step further this year faces Darlington RA’s Liam Macey. In the blue riband singles final Dunston’s Alex Bryden takes on Elm Tree’s David Fenwick while in the fours Leadgate’s Gary Robson plays Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram.

In the latest round of Northern Trophy group games the Durham County ladies A team suffered a third consecutive defeat this time at the hands of bottom of the group Northumberland at Sunderland, across the green Durham could only muster two winning rinks, Sunderland’s Sue Almond made the most of home advantage with a three shot win while Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson returned to winning ways 26-11.

Latest Standings with one round left -  Yorkshire 37½, Cumbria 31½, Durham 24, Northumberland 15 

The Earl Cup destination took another turn this week as the final unbeaten record came to an end, Roker Marine’s seven match unbeaten run was ended at holders Houghton Dairy Lane 6-1 that result coupled with Silksworth hitting Hetton Workmen’s for a ton in a 7-0 win moves Silksworth to the top albeit on shots difference, Barnes West End won back to back local derby’s with Barnes Park 6-1 and then in a rearranged game 5-2, West End are now only four points behind the top two. The top three in division two all won , Usworth maintained a narrow half a point lead with a 6-1 win at Whitburn while Hylton Colliery stay second after a 6-1 win at Thompson Park, third placed Seaham beat South Hylton 6-1 but are 3½ points behind the leaders and they have played a game more. North Biddick’s lead in division three is nine points after a 6-1 win over Pemberton, second placed Ryhope were beaten 7-0 at New Herrington who claimed only their second win of the season to move off the bottom of the table.    

Roker Marine’s 6-1 win over Hetton Workmen has propelled them to the top of the Swan Cup, holders Dairy Lane are a point behind but they have a game in hand, Silksworth hit Thompson Park for a ton in a 7-0 win which moves them into third place, Houghton Town had a cracking 5½-1½ win at Usworth to move away from the relegation spots. In division two North Biddick’s 5-2 win against Ryhope maintains a healthy 9½ point lead over South Hylton, Pemberton had a cracking 6-1 home win over Hylton Colliery.

The Harold Howey is wide open, Roker Park’s 4-0 win over Seaham Town has moved them top of the table from Barnes Park B and holders Barnes West End, there is a tremendous scramble to avoid the drop as only a single point covers the bottom eight clubs, currently South Hylton are bottom but a 4-0 win at Chester le Street has got them back with the pack,  Roker Marine had a good 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Ryhope A while Hetton Workmen’s got a much needed 3-1 win at Houghton Dairy Lane B. In division two full credit to Houghton Town A who despite a war torn playing surface are eight points clear at the top following a 4-0 home win over Roker Marine B, the other Houghton squad are in third. In the battle at the bottom North Biddick B beat bottom placed South Hetton 4-0.

The latest round of Storey Bowl fixtures saw Seaham Town hold onto top spot with a 6-1 win over Roker Park, holders Hetton Workmen’s beat Houghton Town 6-1 but trail the leaders by 4½ points with a game in hand, Hylton Colliery beat Wearmouth 6-1 and there was some light relief for Thompson Park as they beat Pennywell 5-2, today leaders Seaham head to Pennywell and Hetton entertain Thompson Park.

The final of this season’s 3-2-1 knock out triples takes place at Usworth on Tuesday, holders Barnes West End are looking match Usworth’s feat of the 90’s by winning it for three consecutive years, standing in there way are the 2012 winners Silksworth, the final starts at 6.30pm.

The women’s Marjorie Marshall Triples competition has been taking place, twenty one entries have been battling for the title, this year’s winners were the Ryhope trio of Brenda Hardy, Sheila Wright and Margaret Mitchinson, in the final the Ryhope squad defeated Sunderland’s Sheila Maddison, Janice Petrucci and Mavis Pullan 14-2. As usual during the competition a tombola was held whereby £130 was raised and will be donated to St Benedict’s Hospice.

The Grindon league took a rest last week as the quarter finals of the Tommy Thompson double fours were played, Silksworth powered into the semi-finals with a 48-18 win at Hylton Colliery and will play Barnes West End who beat Wearmouth 38-33, Pennywell had a good 36-33 win at Grindon Mill and will play Usworth who had a cracking 43-36 win at Dairy Lane, the semi-finals will take place at Roker Marine on August 11.

There was good news in the Bowls England National Mixed fours area final as Silksworth’s Nina Riches, Ann Upstall, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt secured a place at the National Championships with a hard fought 16-15 win over Nafferton’s Stephen Dilks, the Silksworth quartet will head to Leamington Spa in September.

There was more local success on the Open competition circuit as David Wright and Peter Brickle (pictured) combined to take the Chester le Street Open Pairs.


It has been make or break this week in the various county competitions as they reached the dreaded semi-final stages where only the winners are assured of a place at the National Championships at Leamington Spa in August. In the county blue riband event the singles the remaining local hope Houghton Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspeth’s brave run came to an end at the hands of the 2002 County champion Dunston’s Alex Bryden, on a tricky end rink Hudspeth was beaten 21-13, in the county final Bryden will face Elm Tree’s David Fenwick who impressively defeated Darlington RA’s John Hills 21-8.

In the pairs Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland sealed a county final spot with an impressive 26-7 win over Dunston’s Alex Bryden, in the final Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar & David Bolt will provide the opposition after the Silksworth duo came out on top 16-15 after a dramatic extra end against the Seaham Town based Henderson father & son combination.

The County triples final will be an all Silksworth affair, Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow held on for a last end 17-15 win over Elm Tree’s Rob Carson while Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt also held on for a last end 18-16 win over Darlington RA’s John Lynch.

The current County fours champions Silksworth’s Shaun McIntosh, Lee Maughan, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar came up against an inspired Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram who steered his rink to a 17-13 semi-final win, in the final Oram will face Leadgate’s Gary Robson, in the semi-final Robson ditched a bare jack with his final bowl to secure a dramatic 18-16 win over Stockton’s Paul Mosley.
Roker Marine’s Pat Thomson has a chance of a first county title after nailing a place in the final in the Two Bowl Singles with an impressive 17-7 win over Darlington RA’s Liam Macey, Stockton’s Mark Hodgson will provide the opposition after a hard fought 16-15 win over Hunden’s Stuart Clarke.

Last year’s beaten finalist in the Junior Singles Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna will look to go one better this year after a cracking 21-6 semi-final win over Barnes Park’s Jay Taylor,in the final McKenna will face Darlington RA’s Liam Macey who defeated Stockton’s Mark Hodgson 21-11.

The Junior Pairs competition was only just introduced this year by Bowls England, the inaugural County final saw Darlington RA’s Keith Burton & Liam Macey run out 24-15 winners over Silksworth’s Jaxon Mckenna & Josh Halcrow, sadly for the Silksworth duo only the winners qualify for Leamington, the winners will collect the county donated Prince Bishops Trophy.
Another new competition was the Senior Fours, the first County winners are Dipton’s George Williams, Cyril Pearson, Michael Creegan and Michael English who defeated Spennymoor’s Barry Attwood 19-17, the county have donated a trophy which will be called the JF.Laidler Trophy in recognition of the late County treasurer and Barnes Park stalwart Jimmy Laidler.

The Houghton Dairy Lane legend Ken Briscoe (pictured) secured a place in the George Turley Champion of Champions final with a hard fought 21-17 win over Pelton Fell’s Michael Lusk, in the final Briscoe will face Leadgate’s Dave Warnaby who defeated club-mate Peter Coulson 21-6, prior to the game Warnaby was awarded his county badge.

All the County finals will take place at Silksworth on Sunday July 30, the order of play will be confirmed later.
The County B will attempt to win the Northern Counties Alsop Trophy for the first time in five years, the Durham squad will go into today’s final game against Lancashire at Dairy Lane knowing they only need to win on two of the six rinks to lift the title, the following team has been selected.
A.Greathead (Park), N.Willey (Stockton), S.Bennett (Pelton Fell), R.Mckie (Roker Marine), B.Poulter (Usworth), A.Mole (Park), A.Taylor (Park), D.Oram (Park), J.Sutherland (Houghton DL), A.Hind (Houghton DL), S.Tindale (Houghton DL), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL), J.Richardson (Roker Marine), G.Dougherty (Park), A.Middleton (Roker Marine), , A.Hill (Barnes Park), M.Hodgson (Stockton), P.Hudspith (Houghton DL), H.Dougherty (Park), J.McAdoo (Houghton DL), J.Taylor (Barnes Park), C.Howie (Park) A.Parnell (Stockton), R.Robinson (Houghton DL)
Reserves – M.Davis (Barnes Park), J.Godfrey (Houghton DL), J.Deverson (Sunderland), J.Harston (Hundens), J.Wilson (Houghton DL), V.Tunstall (Hundens), S.Clarke (Hundens)

Latest Standings – Cumbria 52, Durham 49, Northumberland 44, Yorkshire 33, Lancashire 20

The Ladies County Two bowl day was held at Horden, 18 players competed for two qualifying places at Leamington as well as the county title, locally Houghton Town’s Ellen Faith made the last eight before going down 16-11 to the eventual county champion Newton Hall’s Fay Slinn, Sunderland’s Sue Almond also reached the last eight before going down 16-13 to the eventual runner up Newton Hall’s Eileen Horan.

Last November Silksworth’s David Bolt lifted the prestigious Hong Kong Classic singles title, Bolt will have an opportunity to defend his title in November as he is part of a mixed four squad named by Bowls England, the Durham star will be joined by Taylor Monk (Kent), Lorraine Kuhler (Sussex) and Kirsty Richards (Warwickshire) as they compete in singles and then a pairs competition.

Houghton Dairy Lane’s hopes of retaining their Earl Cup crown took another blow as they succumbed to a 43 shot 7-0 loss at Barnes Park, the holders find themselves second bottom, the other game saw bottom of the table Houghton Town finally break their duck with a 4½-2½ home win over Hetton Workmen’s albeit by two shots overall. The second division leaders Usworth suffered their first defeat in six as they crashed 6-1 at home to Seaham Town who leap up into third place, Roker Park defeated Whitburn 5-2 while South Hylton had a good 7-0 home win over bottom of the table Thompson Park. In the third division the top two Ryhope and North Biddick went head to head but no result has been received, Grindon Mill won the battle of the bottom two 6-1 over New Herrington.

The Swan Cup holders Houghton Dairy Lane made it six wins on the trot with a 6-1 local derby win over neighbours Houghton Town, Roker Marine moved into second after a 7-0 win at winless Thompson Park, Barnes Park’s 5½-1½ win at Seaham moved them into third - despite losing Seaham climbed out of the relegation places, the remaining game saw Hetton Workmen’s beat Usworth 6-1. In division two there was a first win of the season for Grindon Mill as they beat Pemberton 5-2, South Hylton moved back into the second spot with a 5½-1½ win at Ryhope. 

The weather was the winner in the latest round of Howey fixtures although there were a few games completed in division two, previous leaders Washington A suffered another loss this time 3-1 at Roker Marine B, promotion chasing Houghton Town B suffered a setback losing 3-1 at home to Pennywell while Pemberton B beat Sunderland A 4-0 in a middle the table clash Thompson Park A beat Dawdon 4-0,

In the Storey Bowl leaders Seaham Town hit their third ton of the season this time in a 7-0 win at Wearmouth, Houghton Town are still chasing the leaders after a 7-0 win at Pennywell, Hylton Colliery Welfare completed a trio of away wins 7-0 at Dawdon while Roker Park defeated Thompson Park 6-1, current holders Hetton Workmen had a bye and are 4½ points adrift but they have played a game less.

Barnes West End have dominate the 3-2-1 knock out triples and they remain on course for a third consecutive title after a 236-196 semi-final win over Seaham Town, in the final West End will face Silksworth who beat Washington Glebe 245½-180½, the final will be at Usworth on Tuesday August 1 at 6.30pm.

The first round ties in this season’s Silver Jacks have been completed, West End’s Bryan Sanderson made progress defeating Marine’s Alan Middleton 23-11, club-mate Frankie Froud also progressed 16-15 against North Biddick’s Billy Piggott, Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson had a cracking 21-7 win over Silksworth’s Paul Baker, Silksworth’s Neal Ridley and Ian Riches are already into the last eight after beating club mate Vic Avery 22-11.

Second Round Draw – B.Sanderson (Barnes WE) v G.McPheators (Silksworth), R.Robinson (Houghton DL) v C.Fish (Hetton Wkmn), J.Kelly (Silksworth) v F.Froud (Barnes WE), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL) v A.Patterson (Grindon Mill), B.Henderson (Seaham Town) v P.Thomson (Roker Marine), S.Patterson (Hetton Wkmn) v P.Harding (Hetton Wkmn), R.Bamborough (North Biddick) v J.Huntingdon (Roker Park).
Ties to be played before Saturday August 12

In the Burkett Shield the all Grindon Mill last sixteen affair saw Alan Patterson beat C.Barella 24-10 to set up a quarter final tie against Ian Riches (Silksworth) or Bryan Sanderson (Barnes West End).

Second Round Draw – V.Avery (Silksworth) v R.Graham (Roker Marine), P.Harding (Hetton Wkmn) v D.Fenwick (Ryhope), W.Piggott (North Biddick) v TW.Todd (Silksworth), F.Knubley (Roker Marine) v J.Huntingdon (Roker Park),I.Riches (Silksworth) v B.Sanderson (Barnes West End), P.Bamborough (North Biddick) v D.Bolt (Silksworth), B.Henderson (Seaham Town) v F.Froud (Barnes West End)
Ties to be played before Tuesday August 8.

Week 9 in the Grindon League saw three 4-1 away wins, Silksworth moved  top after winning at Houghton Dairy Lane, South Hylton beat long time leaders Whitburn and the third away win saw Barnes West End beat Grindon Mill. Silksworth lead albeit on shots difference from South Hylton with Whitburn just half a point behind in third.

During the outdoor season there are a shed load of Open tournaments around the region, last weekend saw another local success when Jason Britton, Ian Fairweather and Frankie Froud (pictured) lifted the Darlington Open Triples.

In the Bowls England ladies senior pairs the remaining local hope were beaten, Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson went out in the third round 22-14 to Darlington Woodland’s Joyce Stephenson. In the Mixed Fours the Silksworth squad of Nina Riches, Ann Upstall, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt had a cracking 20-12 win over Wigton’s Lewis Baxter, they now travel to Thirsk on Wednesday to face Nafferton’s Stephen Dilks for a place at Leamington in September. Both the regions last hopes in the Top Club were beaten, Dipton 3-2 at Aspatria and Darlington RA 4-1 by Nafferton.

Ladies Johns Trophy Quarter Finals – Lincolnshire 148-110 Notts, Leicestershire 109-112 Norfolk, Kent 118-103 Surrey, Somerset 120-129 Gloucestershire. 


The Durham County A team’s hopes of progressing into the quarter finals of the Middleton Cup were shattered as Derbyshire took the last eight spot with a 6 shot win over Durham at Kirbymoorside. It will be even more disappointing for the Durham squad as they have beaten Derbyshire in the last two meetings, ultimately Durham were left to rue a slow start across the green which saw them trail by 18 shots, as in previous games they fought back but sadly this time they couldn't see it out. Across the green Durham had three winning rinks, Hartlepool’s John Mansfield’s rink completed a trio of group wins with an impressive 27-10 over John Bowley, Silksworth’s Ian Riches beat Martyn Allsopp 24-14 and Riches club mate Billy Ferry came back from 19-11 down to beat Paul Broughton 23-21 which left Durham 27 shots in credit, sadly the two mainstay rinks had afternoons to forget, team manager David Bolt went down 30-13 to David Thornhill and Stockton’s Paul Mosley lost 29-16 to Tom Doig, the remaining rink skipped by Elm Tree’s Colin Boston succumbed to a 24-19 defeat at the hands of Adrian Clipston which sealed Derbyshire a quarter final tie against Northumberland.

Final Group Standings – Derbyshire 54, Durham 42, Yorkshire 10, Nottinghamshire 6. 

Next Saturday the County B will attempt to win the Northern Counties Alsop Trophy for the first time in five years, following Northumberland’s 18-4 loss to Yorkshire the Durham squad will go into the final game against Lancashire at Dairy Lane knowing they only need to win on two of the six rinks to lift the title, the following team has been selected.
A.Greathead (Park), N.Willey (Stockton), S.Bennett (Pelton Fell), R.Mckie (Roker Marine), B.Poulter (Usworth), A.Mole (Park), A.Taylor (Park), D.Oram (Park), J.Sutherland (Houghton DL), A.Hind (Houghton DL), S.Tindale (Houghton DL), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL), J.Richardson (Roker Marine), G.Dougherty (Park), A.Middleton (Roker Marine), , A.Hill (Barnes Park), M.Hodgson (Stockton), P.Hudspith (Houghton DL), H.Dougherty (Park), J.McAdoo (Houghton DL), J.Taylor (Barnes Park), C.Howie (Park) A.Parnell (Stockton), R.Robinson (Houghton DL)

Reserves – M.Davis (Barnes Park), J.Godfrey (Houghton DL), J.Deverson (Sunderland), J.Harston (Hundens), J.Wilson (Houghton DL), V.Tunstall (Hundens), S.Clarke (Hundens)

Latest Standings – Cumbria 52, Durham 49, Northumberland 44, Yorkshire 33, Lancashire 20

The quarter finals of this seasons county competitions were completed this week and there was plenty of local interest. In the singles quarter finals at Leadgate Houghton Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspeth put in a second half charge to see off Stockton’s Mark Hodgson 21-8 and will now face Dunston’s Alex Bryden in the semi-final, Bryden recovered from 20-12 down to end Roker Marines Jimmy Richardson’s hopes 21-20, Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar saw his hopes of a first singles title end with a 21-9 loss to Darlington RA’s John Hills. In the Pairs at Nevilles Cross the Seaham Town Henderson father & son combination rolled into the semi-finals with an impressive 24-10 win over Leadgate’s Ian Peacock & Gary Robson, in the semi-finals they will face the Silksworth duo of Gary Farquhar and David Bolt who defeated Dairy Lane’s Joe Sutherland & Ian Whorlton 25-14. Silksworth hosted the Triples on Tuesday and it was a goodnight for the host club as two of their three squads moved into the semi-finals, Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow put in a five star performance to beat Stockton’s Paul Mosley 25-10 while Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt held there nerve against Dunston’s Alan Theobold to get home 19-16 on the last end, the remaining squad of Peter Brickle, Vic Avery and Ian Riches never recovered from trailing 12-1 to Darlington RA’s John Lynch and went down 21-8. This week will be make or break for places at the national championship’s as only the county finalists get to go to Leamington Spa, the county semi-finals take place over three nights and the timetable is as follows

Monday 17th July at Houghton Dairy Lane
Singles semi-finals – J.Hills (Darlington RA) v D.Fenwick (Elm Tree)
Pairs semi-finals  – A.Kirtland (Darlington RA) v A.Brydon (Dunston)
Fours semi-finals  – G.Farquhar (Silksworth) v H.Dougherty (Hartlepool Park)
Fours semi-finals  – P.Mosley (Stockton) v G.Robson (Leadgate)
Junior Singles semi-finals  – M.Hodgson (Stockton) v L.Macey (Darlington RA)

Tuesday 18th July at John Whitehead Park
Pairs semi-finals  – G.Farquhar (Silksworth) v B.Henderson (Seaham Town)
Two Bowl semi-finals  – S.Clarke (Hundens) v M.Hodgson (Stockton)
Senior Fours Final – B.Attwood (Spennymoor) v M.English (Dipton)
Junior Pairs Final – J.Halcrow (Silksworth) v L.Macey (Darlington RA)
Champion of Champions semi-finals – D.Warnaby (Leadgate) v P.Coulson (Darlington RA)

Wednesday 19th July at Spennymoor
Singles semi-finals  – P.Hudspeth (Houghton DL) v A.Bryden (Dunston)
Triples semi-finals  – V.Rewcastle (Darlington RA) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth)
Triples semi-finals  – J.Halcrow (Silksworth) v M.Hodgson (Stockton)
Two Bowl semi-finals  – L.Macey (Darlington RA) v P.Thomson (Roker Marine)
Junior Singles semi-finals  – S.Patterson (Hetton Wkmn) or J.Taylor (Barnes Park) v J.McKenna (Silksworth)
Champion of Champions semi-finals  - M.Lusk (Pelton Fell) v K.Briscoe (Houghton DL)

With the weather and county competitions this seasons Earl Cup division one title race has been crawling along however this week there were a few big results, Roker Marine moved to the top after beating Barnes Park 7-0 and then followed that up with a hard fought 5-2 rearranged win over holders Houghton Dairy Lane, that was a second loss in a week for holders Dairy Lane following Mondays 6-1 home loss to Silksworth. Hylton Colliery Welfare are the new leaders in the second division after a cracking 6-1 home win over bottom of the table South Hylton, third placed Roker Park lost ground on the top two after losing 7-0 at Seaham Town.  The top three in division three all won 6-1, leaders Ryhope ran out 21 shot winners at Sunderland and stay a point ahead of North Biddick who beat Grindon Mill by 37 shots; the top two have a healthy seven point cushion over Washington who beat Pemberton by 24 shots.

The Swan Cup defending champions Houghton Dairy Lane moved five points clear at the top, a 6-1 win over Usworth coupled with second placed Barnes West End going down 6-1 at Roker Marine has put the holders in the box seat. North Biddick’s promotion charge in division two continues at a pace, a 6-1 home win over Grindon Mill has opened up a ten point lead at the top, South Hylton’s 6-1 win over Hylton Colliery keeps them in the other promotion spot, Ryhope notched only their second win of the season 6-1 at Washington.

Barnes West End are on course to retain their Harold Howey title, a 4-1 win at Ryhope A has put them seven points clear of Roker Park, Roker Marine have moved out of the relegation places after a cracking 4-0 win over early pacesetters Washington Glebe B, third bottom North Biddick A beat Hetton Workmen’s 3-1 while second bottom South Hylton lost 3-1 at Houghton Dairy Lane B, those results have seen last year’s third Houghton Dairy Lane A drop to bottom of the table after a 4-0 loss at Barnes Park. In the second division Houghton Town A maintained top spot with a 4-0 home win over Pemberton B, the battle to avoid the wooden spoon saw Roker Marine B leap frog South Hetton following a 3-1 win at Hetton.

A couple of weeks ago it looked like Seaham Town would coast to the Storey Bowl title however there lead has been whittled away to just 2½ points, last weekend Seaham beat neighbours Dawdon 6-1 while second placed defending champions Hetton Workmen beat Pennywell 7-0, third placed Houghton Town are only a 4½ points off the leaders, last weekend Houghton beat Roker Park 7-0, the other game saw Thompson Park beat Wearmouth 5½-1½. The current number of teams that have played a man short during the current season has reached 78 with the current four rink format contributing 51 to that total.

In the Silver Jacks Grindon Mill’s Alan Patterson had a cracking 21-18 win over Silksworth’s Billy Ferry and will now head to Dairy Lane to face the current holders Joe Sutherland & Alan J Dunn, the North Biddick Bamborough’s defeated Marines Ray Bell 18-10 and will next entertain Roker Parks Harry Welsh & Jimmy Huntingdon who best Whitburn’s Frankie Smith 16-14. The semi-finals of the 3-2-1 knock outs triples takes place on Tuesday, holders Barnes West End’s quest for a third title in a row will see them face either Seaham Town or Sunderland while Silksworth face Washington Glebe in the other semi-final.

Week 8 in the Grindon League saw leaders Whitburn lose their unbeaten record as they were beaten 5-0 at Silksworth which moves the latter into second place, South Hylton’s 5-0 win over Usworth moves them into third, Wearmouth got there second win of the season 4-1 against Hylton Colliery Welfare, the remaining game saw Barnes West End beat Pennywell 4½-½.
Latest Standings – Whitburn 6-21½, Silksworth 5-19, South Hylton 6-19, Houghton DL 5-18½, Barnes West End 7-15½, Hylton CW 6-15½, Usworth 6-15, Wearmouth 5-9½, Grindon Mill 5-8, Pennywell 7-4. 

This year’s winners of the Whitburn Open Pairs were Frankie Froud and Brian Sanderson, after battling through a round robin format then a couple of knock out rounds they beat Jean and Ronnie Chapman 14-5 in the final.

There was some sad news for the local bowls scene this week as Billy Hearne sadly passed away, the former Barley Mow & Barnes West End outdoor member was  a much respected player and very popular around the local bowls scene and will be missed by many.

In the Bowls England senior singles Barnes Park’s Les Taylors run came to an end with a 21-12 loss to Elm Tree’s Gordon Allison, Dairy Lane’s Pater Hudspeth was also beaten 21-12 by Leadgate’s Ian Peacock. The regions last hope in the Double Fours Darlington RA were beaten 41-32 by Manchester’s Heaton Hall, however in the Top club competition RA did beat Bolton 4-1 and face Nafferton tomorrow, in the same competition Dipton face a trip to Aspatria.


The County B team had to dig deep in their latest Northern Counties Alsop Trophy game against table topping Cumbria at Houghton Dairy Lane where anything but a win would have ended their title hopes. A very slow start resulted in Durham trailing at the half way mark by 15 shots however the Durham lads rallied in the second half of the match to finish winners by 5 shots. Team captain Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram steered his rink of Brian Poulter (Usworth), Alan Mole (Hartlepool Park) and Alan Taylor (Hartlepool Park) to a 33-15 win over Chris Phillips, across the green Durham had another two winning rinks, Dairy Lane’s Alan J Dunn beat Barry Watson 25-15 and Marine’s Richie Mckie defeated Peter Banister 21-12. The 16-6 points return leaves Cumbria still top by three points but they have completed all there games, Durham however can lift the Alsop for the first time in five years if they can beat Lancashire at Dairy Lane in two week’s time.

Scores (Durham skips first) – D.Oram 33-15 C.Phillips, AJ.Dunn 25-15 B.Watson, R.Mckie 21-12 P.Banister, R.Robinson 17-20 P.Metcalfe, J.McAdoo 16-30 J.Barber, A.Hill 8-24 M.Little

Latest Table – Cumbria 4-52, Durham 3-49, Northumberland 3-40, Lancashire 3-20, Yorkshire 3-15

The County A team head to Kirbymoorside this afternoon to face Derbyshire in a winner takes all final group game in this seasons Middleton Cup, with both teams locked on 36 points todays winner will take the quarter final place. The following team has been selected –:
M.Peach (Houghton D.L), P.Sainthouse (Silksworth), L.Maughan (Silksworth), W.Ferry (Silksworth), J.Halcrow (Silksworth), J.Ballantyne (Stockton), M.Higgins (Barnes Park), P.Mosley (Stockton), S.Baker (Silksworth), J.McKenna (Silksworth), D.Fenwick (Elm Tree),C.Boston (Elm Tree), J.Harston (Hundens), A.Ward (Owton Lodge), I.Jackson (Park), J.Mansfield (Park), K.Burton (Darlington RA), R.Mckie (Roker Marine), G.Farquhar (SIlksworth), I.Riches (Silksworth), P.Dixon (Silksworth), N.Ridley (Silksworth), P.Smithson (Silksworth), D.Bolt (Silksworth)
Reserves – M.Laydon (Barnes Park), J.McAdoo (Houghton DL), J.Richardson (Roker Marine, M.Gleeson (Spennymoor), D.Todner (Houghton DL)

There was disappointment for the Ladies County A team as they lost their latest Northern Trophy game against Yorkshire at Pelton Fell. Durham’s top rink was Durham City’s Joyce Woodward's quartet of Dawn Jackson (Owton Lodge), Edna Stokoe (Consett Park) and Jane Pattison (Darlington North Park) who ran out impressive 29-13 winners, the only other winning rink was Consett Park’s Gill Jones who maintained her seasonal Trophy unbeaten record with a 10 shot win, the remaining four rinks went down by a combined total of 55 shots which sealed a 126-97 Yorkshire win. The 9½-2½ points result leaves Durham in third 9½ points behind leaders Cumbria, Durham face Northumberland next at Sunderland on July 21.

Latest Standings – Cumbria 4-31½, Yorkshire 4-28½, Durham 4-22, Northumberland 4-6     

The latter stages of the Ladies County Senior Fours took place at Horden this week, locally we had two squads in the semi-finals however both succumbed to the eventual champions Consett Park’s Trudy Kitto, Edna Stokoe, Teresa Pearson and Gill Jones. In the semi-finals Hetton Workmen’s Norma Stephenson narrowly went down 18-15 to Jones while Sunderland’s Jean Graham, Brenda Parkins, Janet Sykes and Sue Almond booked a final berth with a hard fought 18-17 win over Hunden’s Kath Campbell. In the final sadly for the Sunderland quartet the Consett squad had too much in the tank as they eased to a 25-9 win and will now go onto to represent Durham in the National Championships at Leamington Spa on Wednesday August 23 where they will face Middlesex. The ladies Two Bowl day was due to take place at Barnes Park but due to the condition of the greens it has been rearranged and will be played at Horden, the final of the singles takes place on Friday at Horden as Stockton’s Teresa Parnell plays Darlington Woodlands Ann Anderson.

The second stage of the men’s county competitions are progressing along, the last eight years in the singles have been dominated by Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland and Silksworth’s David Bolt, with Bolt already out Kirtland’s hopes were ended at a sodden Leadgate as the 2002 champion Dunston’s Alex Bryden won a cracker 21-19, Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspith defeated Marine’s Richie Mckie 21-13 and Peter Coulson (Darlington RA) defeated Hunden’s Vince Tunstall 21-7, Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar was an impressive 21-11 winner over last years beaten finalist Dipton’s Michael English.

Quarter Final Draw – JS.Richardson (Roker Marine) v A.Bryden (Dunston), M.Hodgson (Stockton) v P.Hudspith (Houghton DL), J.Hills (Darlington RA) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth), P.Coulson (Darlington RA) v D.Fenwick (Elm Tree)

In the Pairs at Nevilles Cross there were mixed results for our local hopes, Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar and David Bolt eased past Hunden’s Stuart Clarke 26-13 however club mates Lee Maughan and Billy Ferry were left shell shocked, leading 12-0 and 14-2 the wheels came off in spectacular fashion as Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland hit a purple patch to run out a 26-15 winner. Our third hope saw the Seaham Town Henderson father (pictured) & son combination put in a polished performance to see off current Pair’s holder Dipton’s Michael English 22-15.
Quarter Final Draw – G.Farquhar (Silksworth) v I.Whorlton (Houghton DL), P.Mosely (Stockton) v A.Bryden (Dunston), M.Robinson (Vane Tempest) v A.Kirtland (Darlington RA), B.Henderson (Seaham Town) v G.Robson (Leadgate)

The Triples quarter finals were due to be held at Silksworth on Tuesday but they were washed out and will now take place this Tuesday at Silksworth.
Quarter Final Draw – K.King (Dunston) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth), M.Hodgson (Stockton) v M.Johnston (Dunston), P.Mosely (Stockton) v J.Halcrow (Silksworth), V.Rewcastle (Darlington RA) v P.Brickle (Silksworth)

The Fours quarter finals were held at Stockton and it was a mixed night for our local hopes, the defending county champions Silksworth’s Shaun McIntosh, Lee Maughan, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar were in awesome form as they defeated Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland 26-8, the Silksworth rink of Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt were left stunned as they dropped a last end three to do down 18-17 to Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram.
Semi final Draw – G.Farquhar (Silksworth) v D.Oram (Hartlepool Park), P.Mosely (Stockton) v G.Robson (Leadgate)

The remaining last sixteen ties in the Two bowl were due to be held at Barnes Park however they were hastily switched to Pelton Fell due to the unsafe playing conditions at  Barnes, locally Roker Marine’s Jimmy Richardson was beaten 14-10 by Hunden’s Graham Peacock and Ray Robinson was beaten in the last eight on an extra end 15-14 by Hunden’s Stuart Clarke,
In the County Senior Fours Hetton Workmen’s hopes of a first county title were ended in the semi-finals as Peter Harding’s quartet were beaten 30-18 at Leadgate by Spennymoor’s Barry Attwood.

Due to the weather problems the county semi-finals will now take place a week later on July 17/18/19.

Grindon League leaders Whitburn only just kept their unbeaten record in tact with a rearranged 4-1 win over Pennywell albeit by a quarter of a shot, the only scheduled game to avoid the rain saw Hylton Colliery beat Barnes West End 4½-½.
Latest Standings – Whitburn 5-21½ , Houghton DL 5-18½, Usworth 5-15, Hylton CW 5-14½, Silksworth 4-14, South Hylton 5-14, Barnes WE 6-11, Grindon Mill 5-8, Wearmouth 4-5½, Pennywell 6-3½

A special mention to a couple of clubs who have had a good week, Grindon Mill notched their first win of the season albeit in their annual friendly against the Sunderland & District and then like a bus another came along as they notched a first win in the Earl with a cracking 6-1 home win over Sunderland to move off the foot of the table. Thompson Park have been battling just to field full teams so wins in the Earl 6-1 at Roker Park and in the Howey for both A and B teams against Chester le Street and Sunderland A will have lifted spirits.

Barnes West End have only ever won the Earl Cup once in their history some 73 years ago but after a 6-1 win at Hetton Workmen’s they moved to the top of the table, holders Dairy Lane got back to winning ways with a 6-1 win at bottom of the table Houghton Town. Usworth’s 4½-2½ win over South Hylton keeps them top of division two while Seaham Town hit Whitburn for a ton as the 7-0 win moves them into the battle for promotion. In division three Ryhope’s 5½-1½ win over Washington keeps them top albeit by a point from North Biddick who won 7-0 at New Herrington, the latter drop to bottom after Grindon Mill’s result. The Swan Cup title is up for grabs as only five points cover the top four, holders Dairy Lane’s 5½-1½ win at Hetton Workmen’s keeps them top but only on shots from Barnes West End who beat Thompson Park 6-1, Silksworth’s 7-0 win at Houghton Town moves them into third, early leaders Barnes Park have dropped to fourth after a 5-2 loss at Usworth. In division two North Biddick’s 7-0 win at Roker Park has opened up a ten point lead at the top, only half a point cover the next three teams, South Hylton currently occupy the other promotion place after a 6-1 win at Grindon Mill.

Howey holders Barnes West End moved to the top with a 4-0 win at Hylton Colliery Welfare B, Washington Glebe B are three points behind after a 3-1 win over Ryhope, the only unbeaten record is still intact as Roker Park beat South Hylton 4-0 to extend their run to seven games unbeaten albeit in fifth place, bottom of the table Roker Marine A notched a second win of the season at Houghton Dairy Lane A, Barnes Park B’s 4-0 win at Seaham moves them into third. Houghton Town A won the battle at the top of the second division 3½-½ at home against Washington Glebe A, Wearmouth are racing up the table and are now in third after four straight wins.

The Storey Bowl title race was thrown wide open after leaders Seaham Town lost their unbeaten record 4-3 at home to Houghton Town in a rearranged game, the leaders only just avoided a second defeat at Hylton Colliery  with a single shot 4½-2½ win to maintain top spot however there lead is down to just 3½ points, Hetton Workmen’s charge for a fourth consecutive Storey league title is gathering momentum after a fourth straight 6-1 win this time at Roker Park, Hetton also have a game in hand.                   

At the start of the season Houghton Town had to play away from home due to the condition of their playing surface, North Biddick had to do the same as there green wasn’t ready, Silksworth where this year’s county finals will take place hadn’t received its first cut until days before the season started, more worrying is the deterioration witnessed on the two greens in Barnes Park, the once immaculate playing surfaces are a pale shadow of themselves, with council cut backs the greenkeepers hands are tied and are lucky to get an hour to cut them which leaves them no extra time to give them some much needed TLC. This week two County event’s were switched from Barnes Park due to the condition of the surface and the Barnes Park club are trying to get a site visit arranged with council representatives to discuss a way forward. 

England completed a third consecutive Home International series win in Belfast last weekend, following wins over Wales (120-112) and hosts Ireland (121-109) they clinched the series with a hard fought 122-116 win over the auld enemy Scotland. Durham and Silksworth star David Bolt had a good third consecutive series at skip winning two and narrowly losing the third but will have enhanced his chances of securing a Commonwealth Games berth.

In the Bowls England senior pairs the last local hope made an exit as Marine’s Rod Maxwell and Ray Bell were narrowly beaten 14-12 in a reduced 15 end game at Elm Tree by Gordon Allison.  


The Durham County ladies John’s Trophy squad hopes of qualification were ended despite an 18-4 win over Derbyshire at Copmanthorpe, with it only being a three team group and with Durham having already lost 20-2 to Notts in their opener it is now mathematically impossible for Durham to progress to the knock out stage. Across the green Durham had four winning rinks, the pick of them being Consett Park’s Gill Jones who ran out a 30-14 winner, locally Sunderland’s Sue Almond sneaked home 19-18 but there were defeats for Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson 28-18 and Hetton Workmen’s Norma Stephenson 22-14, the final overall score was 123-118 in Durham’s favour.
Latest Standings – Notts 20, Durham 20, Derbyshire 4
Remaining game – Notts v Derbyshire

There was more disappointment for the County ladies as the Walker Cup double fours squad were beaten 42-40 in the first round by Cumbria at Hexham. Darlington’s Ann Anderson was left to rue a late dropped five to finish 21-21 while Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson went down by two, Cumbria will face Derbyshire next.

After back to back away wins the men’s County B team face Cumbria today at Dairy Lane in the latest round of Alsop Trophy fixtures. Durham are currently 13 points behind leaders Cumbria but have played a game less however a defeat would end Durham’s hopes of lifting the Alsop for the first time in four years, the following team has been selected -:
A.Greathead (Park), N.Willey (Stockton), S.Bennett (Pelton Fell), R.Mckie (Roker Marine), B.Poulter (Usworth), A.Mole (Park), A.Taylor (Park), D.Oram (Park), J.Sutherland (Houghton DL), A.Hind (Houghton DL), S.Tindale (Houghton DL), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL), J.Richardson (Roker Marine), G.Dougherty (Park), A.Middleton (Roker Marine), , A.Hill (Barnes Park), J.Deverson (Sunderland), J.Godfrey (Houghton DL), D.Warnaby (Leadgate), J.McAdoo (Houghton DL), J.Taylor (Barnes Park), C.Howie (Park) A.Parnell (Stockton), R.Robinson (Houghton DL). Reserves – M.Davis (Barnes Park), P.Hudspeth (Houghton DL), M.Hodgson (Stockton), J.Harston (Hundens), J.Wilson (Houghton DL)

Latest Standings – Cumbria 3-46, Northumberland 3-40, Durham 2-33, Yorkshire 2-9, Lancashire 2-3

The weather has played havoc with some of the planned County competitions; Wednesday’s Pairs and Thursday’s Two Bowl were both washed out and will be played this week. The first part of the Singles took place at Leadgate last Friday, locally Roker Marine’s Jimmy Richardson recorded a cracking 21-9 win over Hartlepool Old Boys Carl Higgins however Barnes Park’s Mark Higgins never recovered from trailing 12-0 against Elm Tree’s David Fenwick and finished 21-10 down, the other two ties saw wins for Stockton’s Mark Hodgson and Darlington RA’s John Hills.

Singles Draw – J.Richardson (Roker Marine) v A.Bryden (Dunston) / A.Kirtland (Darlington RA), M.Hodgson (Stockton) v P.Hudspeth (Dairy Lane) / R.Mckie (Roker Marine), J.Hills (Darlington RA) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth) / M.English (Dipton), P.Coulson (Darlington RA) / V.Tunstall (Hundens) v D.Fenwick (Elm Tree)


The remaining five ties in the triples were played at a rain sodden Silksworth, the host club had plenty of success as three triples progressed to the last eight. Peter Brickle, Vic Avery and Ian Riches beat club mates Scot Baker, Paul Baker and Phil Smithson 18-16 while Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow eased past Newton Hall’s Jimmy Taylor 26-8, the third Silksworth success saw Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt prove too strong for Darlington RA’s Liam Macey. Barnes Park’s Jason Taylor, Kevin Richardson and Albie Hill put up a good fight against Dunston’s Alan Jobling but still went down 22-12, the remaining tie saw Darlington RA’s John Lynch beat Spennymoor’s Alan Edger 27-11.

Quarter Final Draw (ties to be played on Tuesday at Silksworth)

K.King (Dunston) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth), M.Hodgson (Stockton) v M.Johnston (Dunston), P.Mosley (Stockton) v J.Halcrow (Silksworth), V.Rewcastle (Darlington RA) v P.Brickle (Silksworth)

The fours quarter final line up was completed after the remaining five ties were played on a lively Stockton playing surface which was reflected in the high scores. Silksworth’s Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt eased past Marines Richie Mckie 31-15, current County champions Silksworth’s Shaun McIntosh, Lee Maughan, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar had to survive a late fightback by Hunden’s Stuart Clarke but still got home 24-16, the remaining local hope was Barnes Park’s Michael Laydon however a 28-8 defeat at the hands of Hartlepool Old Boy’s Carl Higgins ended Laydon’s hopes. The Dairy Lane quartet of Jimmy McKinney, Alan Thurlbeck, Ken Briscoe and John Thurlbeck did well to get back to level game but agonisingly missed out on the last end 21-19 to Dunston’s Alan Jobling.

Quarter Final Draw (ties to be played on Monday at Stockton)
M.Johnston (Dunston) v P.Mosley (Stockton), A.Kirtland (Darlington RA) v G.Farquhar (Silksworth), C.Higgins (Hartlepool Old Boys) v G.Robson (Leadgate), P.Dixon (Silksworth) v H.Dougherty (Hartlepool Park)

The later stages of the ladies County Pairs were played at Dairy Lane, local hopes were with the Hetton Workmen duo of Maureen Hall and Norma Stephenson who were looking for a first pairs title, in the semi-final Stephenson eased to a 30-13 win over Pelton Fell’s Joan Brown however the final didn’t go to plan as the Newton Hall combination of Eileen Horan and Fay Slinn took the title with a 24-13 win.

There was only one Earl Cup division one game played this week as Hetton Workmen’s produced a cracking performance to beat holders Houghton Dairy Lane 4½-2½, last season the holders went unbeaten but this is there fourth loss this season. The division two leaders Usworth extended their lead at the top with a 6-1 home win over South Hylton, second placed Hylton Colliery Welfare lost 5-2 at Roker Park. With division three leaders North Biddick on a bye it allowed Ryhope to take top spot after a 6-1 home win over Pemberton, New Herrington lost 4-3 at home to Sunderland while Grindon Mill’s search for a first win goes on after losing 6-1 to Washington. The weather washed out all of the Swan Cup programme and also hit the Harold Howey fixtures, holders Barnes West End moved to the top of division one with a cracking 4-0 win at Hetton Workmen’s while North Biddick A notched their second win of the season 4-0 at Thompson Park B to move out of the relegation spot, the current total of teams that have played short in a league game this term has now reached sixty six.

The first round of the Grindon League Tommy Thompson double fours was played last week, although still searching for their first league win Pennywell produced a cracking 32-31 win over neighbours South Hylton, Grindon Mill had a good win at Dawdon 40-23 while Hylton Colliery Welfare upset unbeaten in the league Whitburn 42-37, the remaining tie saw Silksworth ease to a 46-24 win against Ryhope
Quarter Finals Draw (ties to be played on July 21) – Hylton CW v Silksworth, Barnes WE v Wearmouth, Houghton DL v Usworth, Grindon Mill v Pennywell

In the Bowls England competitions, Barnes Park’s run in the Top Club came to an end as they were beaten 3-2 at Dipton, in the Senior Singles Dairy Lane’s Ian Whorlton succumbed 21-12 to Elm Tree’s Gordon Allison who will now host Barnes Park’s Les Taylor, the other local hope is Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspith who will host Leadgate’s Ian Peacock. Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson moved into the next round of the Senior Ladies Pairs with a 20-17 win over Pelton Fell’s Joan Brown, in the next round Rodgerson will face either Joyce Stephenson (Woodlands) or Joyce Woodward (Durham). In the mixed Fours Silksworth’s David Bolt defeated Dairy Lane’s James McKinney 19-17 and will entertain Gosforth’s Simon Richardson next.

The Home International series is taking place today and tomorrow in Belfast as England look to defend their title, on the last two occasions when the series have been held in Belfast the host country have took the honours with England finishing third and fourth, locally Durham & Silksworth’s skip David Bolt will be hoping to repeat his three wins from last years series.


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